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BMW Goes After Harley-Davidson with Stunning R 18 Big Boxer Cruiser

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Despite being at the top of sales charts in the motorcycle industry, BMW hasn’t had an entry in the cruiser segment since the R1200 RC . That changed with the introduction of the brand new R 18 this week.

Featuring the Big Boxer engine, the “most powerful 2-cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorcycle series production,” the R18 is described as a bike that blends the classic lines of older BMW bikes with modern day technology.

The design of the motorcycle, and parts of its construction, like the rear swingarm, are reminiscent of the R 5, a bike designed way back in the 1930s as the first BMW motorcycle to use a foot-operated four-speed gearbox. Cues to that resemblance are also the double-loop frame, the pear-drop tank, the open-running driveshaft, the pinstriped paintwork, and of course the exposed drive-shaft.

At the center of the motorcycle lies the Big Boxer BMW has been teasing for more than a year now. The 2-cylinder engine is 1,802 cc in displacement, develops 91 hp at 4,750 rpm, and provides a maximum of 158 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm.

The motorcycle comes with three driving modes – Rain, Roll and Rock – and is equipped with automatic stability control (can be disengaged) and drag torque control as standard. Optionally, reverse assist and hill start control can be specified.

BMW did not announce yet when the motorcycle will become available and how much it will charge for it. When it hits the market though, it will be available in First Edition guise, adding a few unique extras like a classic black finish with white pinstriped paintwork, chrome highlights and First Edition badges.

Additionally, for the U.S. market BMW partnered with several companies to give the bike a local flavor. The customization program there includes parts from Roland Sands Design, Mustang Seat, or Vance & Hines.

Full details on the BMW R 18 can be found in the press release section below.

 

A Brother Steps Up

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A 1984 Tribute to the new Evolution Platform
By Bandit and Zeke

Zeke, the constantly moving outlaw rode a rigid framed Shovelhead for years starting in 1979, when he slipped out of prison for the first time. He sold his chopped ’74 Superglide in ’75 to help support his family, while he was shipped off to prison.

In ’79 the man cut him out of some dank, concrete penitentiary on a windy spring morning and his first thoughts included sex and building a chopper quick.

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New Streetfighter V4 reflects Ducati’s naked ambitions

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by Jeff Yip from https://www.sfgate.com

Ducati is doubling down on two-wheel performance.

For 2020, the maker of premium Italian motorcycles addresses the sportbike’s “naked” niche — where the manufacturer offers a top-of-the-line motorcycle without the fairings and windscreens — with its new Streetfighter V4 and Streetfighter V4 S.

The Streetfighter V4 is informed by Ducati’s sexy Panigale V4 superbike but the factory strips out the Panigale’s fairings and slaps on high, wide handlebars for street and highway duty. The bikes share nearly identical 90-degree V4 engines, with the 2020 Streetfighter’s producing 208 horsepower at 12,750 rpm, just six horses shy of the Panigale’s maximum output, which is attained at an even loftier 13,000 rpm.

With an MSRP of $19,995, the Streetfighter V4 is two grand less than the Panigale. The Streetfighter V4 S starts at $23,995 and boasts up-spec bits like Ohlins electrically controlled suspension, an updated Ohlins electronic control system and Marchesini forged alloy wheels. The V4 S tips the scales at 392 pounds, five less than the V4.

With such mad power-to-weight ratios, Ducati knows many Streetfighter riders will hit the track and the bikes are designed to deliver. Form following function is at work — Formula 1-inspired vents behind the Streetfighter V4’s radiator help to extract hot air — and Ducati’s racing specialists incorporated “biplane” wings that flank the radiator’s side panels. They help generate 44 pounds of downforce on the front wheel at 168 mph.

“It takes a lot of commitment to ride a superbike. Its best use is the racetrack. The Streetfighter V4 is the motorcycle that allows that emotional connection and power, but it’s better on the street,” said Jason Chinnock, Ducati North America’s CEO.

Sportbike riders want something more comfortable and safer on the highway and to ride around town. “The ergonomics are different. You sit more upright,” Chinnock said. “The Streetfighter is tuned for more torque than the superbike version in third gear. On open back-country roads, you don’t want the revs all the way up; you want the torque to pull you through.”

Chinnock asserts that Ducati is more than its products. “It’s a brand. It’s entertainment. It’s a sense of community,” he said, noting that Houston is home to one of Ducati’s most active fan bases. Ducati’s North American chief said he loves visiting Houston and meeting owners at get-togethers like Ducati’s recent “Ready 4 Red” product tour in which the Streetfighter V4 was among the machines showcased.

The Houston event “is always one of the most welcoming,” Chinnock said. “It’s almost a homecoming. It’s a chance for the entire motorcycle community to get together and learn about technologies and connect with other people who are like-minded.”

You can watch Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 in action at bit.ly/Streetfighter-V4.

Millennials Are Suckers for the Damon Hypersport Electric Motorcycle

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com/

It probably won’t be long until the electric motorcycle segment takes off, just like electric cars have started becoming more and more desirable not long ago. The difference is that in this case it will be the startups leading the charge, rather than established bike builders.

So far, the big names of the industry have steered clear of actually committing to electric bikes, with the exception perhaps of Harley-Davidson. The American-made LiveWire, once fully on the market, might just open up the buyers’ appetite for this kind of machine.

And the appetite is clearly there, even if prices for electric bikes are still extremely high. An example to that is Damon, a Canadian startup that is planning to make a splash with the Hypersport.

We’re talking about a high-tech bike that develops 200 hp from an electric powertrain and should provide 200 miles of range from a 21.5 kWh battery. These figures certainly place it at the top of the food chain in its segment.

It’s not only the powertrain that makes this bike unique, but also the technologies that were poured into it. Packed with cameras, sensors and radar, all ran by an artificial intelligence system, the Hypersport creates a virtual bubble of safety around the rider and the bike, sending the information it gathers via haptic feedback in the grips and on the windscreen edge.

These features seem to have prompted people into really liking the offer. At the end of March, as Damon announced it acquired Mission Motors, a supplier of electric vehicle components, the company’s COO Derek Dorresteyn hinted that the entire 25-units run of the Hypersport Founders Edition has already been spoken for, at roughly $40,000 a pop. And a good portion of buyers are millennials.

“Half the people ordering are under the age of 40. It really speaks to product market fit,” said Damon CEO Jay Giraud according to TechCrunch.

Damon Motorcycles Acquires Mission Motors, The Future Looks Bright

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by Florin Tibu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Damon Motorcycles’ Hypersport electric bikes revealed at CES were a huge hit, with the entire limited fleet of Founders Edition machines already sold out in pre-sale. The company now takes another big leap forward with the acquisition of the IP portfolio of Mission Motors, one of the strongest names in the EV powertrain segment.

The move might seem a bit surprising, but it shows that Damon Motorcycles are dead-serious about the development of future, more competitive models in this growing market.

Among the technologies that are now property of Damon we find the proven designs that helped break the AMA electric land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats, also setting new records at Laguna Seca in 2011, the 1/4 mile drag strip at Sonoma Raceway in 2012, or the Isle of Mann TT Zero race in 2014. The PM200 electric motor, the acclaimed Mission Inverter and the Skyline Telematics will now be further developed and integrated in new models that are en route to consumers.

While Damon’s Hypersport Founders Edition consisted of only 25 units, the company currently has two more special bikes on pre-sale. The Hypersport Premier Arctic Sun and the Midnight Sun, in white-gold and black-gold trim, respectively, each with a $39,995 price tag. Securing one requires a $1,000 deposit while offer lasts. If special editions are a bit off your budget, but you still want an electric Damon bike, you can also get the standard version, Hypersport HS, which tips the scales at a more palatable $24,995.

The Damon Hypersport is advertised with the “200 Making it count” punch line, emphasizing on the 200 horsepower, 200 mph top speed and 200-mile range figures. The bikes come with a liquid-cooled 21.5 kWh battery feeding a PMAC liquid cooled 160 kW motor that can do 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds. The advertised charging time is less than three hours on a Level 2 charger.

The combined highway/city range is said to exceed 200 miles, and Damon says that doing 70 mph on a highway yields a ~161 mile range, whereas doing only 60 mph increases the autonomy to 201 miles. Still, we all know these figures can vary quite a bit, depending on weather conditions or a heavy hand.

Among the notable technologies aboard the Damon Hypersport we see the Brembo brakes and Ohlins suspensions, alongside the two proprietary features, CoPilot and Shift. CoPilot is an advanced warning system that uses dual 1080p cameras, haptics and LED alerts for forward collising warnings and blind spot detection for 360-degree safety. Shift is yet another feature embedded in the Hypersport, allowing the rider to effortlessly switch the position of the seat, pegs, handlebars and windscreen for sport and commuting scenarios at the push of a button.

Now, with Mission’s knowledge and Damon’s drive for creating new and exhilarating electric motorcycles, we can expect even more machines in the near future, and hopefully, a more affordable option to expand Damon’s customer base.

New York City’s motorcycle community is riding to save lives

By | General Posts

from https://www.wmay.com/

The orders were straightforward and immediate: pick up the supplies, ride through the streets of New York City and make the deliveries.

There would be no detours, no diversions. The clock was ticking.

On March 21, Ryan Snelson and three other motorcycle riders geared up, divided up the supplies and took off from Montauk, New York, to meet their receivers in Tribeca and Queens. The supplies strapped to their bikes would help protect the doctors, nurses and other health care professionals battling the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic. New York City hospitals were running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) as the number of sick grew each day. The masks, gloves and gowns Snelson and his crew were in possession of could save patients’ — and doctors’ — lives.

Snelson, a longtime biker, took action against the virus the only way he knew how: by calling on his fellow bikers to join him in the cause.

“We’re just regular people who have bikes and have regular jobs in the city,” he told ABC News. “The motorcycle community is very active in New York.”

Snelson was intrigued after learning about Masks for Docs, a grassroots campaign that was started two weeks ago by Chad Loder, a computer security researcher and entrepreneur in the Los Angeles area. Masks for Docs, which is in the process of being recognized as a 501 (c) charity organization, connects people who have PPE with hospitals and health clinics around the country. Donors and receivers fill out an online questionnaire and Masks for Docs then shares the info with its local volunteer chapters to verify the applicants and distribute the supplies quickly to the requisite facilities.

“We’re getting photos from doctors and nurses who are wearing trash bags and bandanas [for protection],” Loder told ABC News. “We’ve had hospitals say they cannot accept donations but doctors are privately reaching out to us. We have to move faster than the virus.”

Individuals can donate surgical, construction and N95 masks, hand sanitizers, hazmat suits, disposable scrubs, face shields and gowns on the Masks for Docs site. Loder said local chapters are given guidance on acceptable donations as well as safety precautions when picking up and dropping off the PPE.

More than 60 riders have joined the New York “moto squad,” according to Snelson, and supplies have been delivered to all five New York City boroughs as well as northern New Jersey.

“It all happened so fast,” Snelson noted. “We’re figuring it out as we go … and we can start and stop based on our schedules.”

Meredith Balkus, who joined Snelson on the group’s first mission, recalled how eerie and still the city’s streets were that Saturday night, a “surreal” experience for the riders involved, she said.

“When this opportunity came up I was so excited,” she told ABC News. “We all understand the gravity of the situation and it’s really rewarding to help doctors who are on the front lines. It’s really dire in New York and there’s a lot of hunger out there to help.”

At least 776 New Yorkers have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and more than half of New York state’s cases, or 33,768, are in the city. Nearly 8,500 state residents are currently hospitalized. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Sunday in an interview on CNN that hospitals have only one week’s worth of medical supplies.

Snelson said his team is cognizant of the infection risks and closely adheres to the safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are so smart every step of the way,” added Balkus. “We’re wearing a full face helmet and a mask underneath. We always stay six feet apart from each other.”

Moto squad’s riders will do whatever it takes to stop the outbreak and slow down the rate of transmission, Snelson said.

“The motorcycle community will help — always,” he said.

New CSN basketball coach Russ Beck recruits on Harley-Davidson

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by Ron Kantowski from https://www.reviewjournal.com

There are advantages to coaching junior college basketball in a teeming metropolis, not the least of which is that one can recruit while riding a motorcycle.

Russ Beck, who recently was named coach of the College of Southern Nevada’s rebooted men’s basketball program, has signed 10 players. All are from Southern Nevada. All it has cost is a tank of gas.

“I’m probably the the only coach in America that can do his recruiting on the back of a Harley-Davidson,” Beck said.

Which he does.

His 2003 Sportster XL gets about 43.5 miles per gallon. It is 35 miles from CSN’s Henderson campus to Centennial High on the northwest edge of the Las Vegas Valley — probably as far as Beck will ever have to go to sign a 6-foot-4-inch power forward.

It may be more difficult finding a place to play than finding players.

There is no gymnasium on CSN’s Henderson campus, so the Coyotes will practice and play at CSN’s Cheyenne campus in North Las Vegas. Selected games might be played at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion or South Point Arena, if deals can be made.

“I’ve been at Western Nebraska in Scottsbluff, which is very rural, up in Twin Falls (Idaho), Cedar City and St. George (in Utah),” Beck, 41, said of coaching stops in basketball hinterlands. “(Here) I can see hundreds of players and do most of my recruiting within 45 minutes of the office.

“One of my selling points is you get to play in front of family and friends in a big city that is easy to get to for the Division I recruiters. All these coaches have been trained to come here because of the AAU (summer) tournaments. They know where to stay, where to eat, where the gyms are.

“Now they have another excuse to come out and watch basketball.”

Already on campus

Likewise, CSN didn’t have to go far to find its basketball coach. Beck was employed by the school as an athletic academic adviser. He had a relationship with CSN athletic director Dexter Irvin, who was AD at Dixie State in St. George when Beck was a basketball assistant there.

Beck also was an assistant at Salt Lake Community College and the College of Southern Idaho, teams he’ll now have to beat in the Scenic West Athletic Conference. He spent seven years as head coach at Western Nebraska CC, winning 124 games and helping the Cougars attain a national ranking.

Junior college teams have a reputation for playing firewagon basketball with an emphasis on the fast break. Beck said he is not averse to either. But he believes to run the floor, you first must lock down on defense in the half court.

“That comes from Coach (Jeff) Kidder at Dixie College, who won a national championship and was a hall of fame coach at the junior college level and did it with a lot of Vegas kids every year,” Beck said of his defense-first philosophy.

One of those Vegas kids was Cimarron-Memorial’s Marcus Banks, who returned home to star at UNLV before being drafted in the first round by the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. Banks could play defense when it was called for. And even when it wasn’t.

“Limiting teams to one shot will give you a lot of offensive freedom, but that only happens when you’re getting stops,” Beck said. “There’s no fast break if the ball goes through the hoop at the other end. Then you’re taking the ball out of the net and walking it up.”

Ultimate goal

Hanging in Beck’s office is a photograph taken at the NJCAA national championship tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, when he was coaching at Salt Lake. It reminds him of the ultimate goal.

But in the first year of the second start-up — CSN shuttered its men’s and women’s basketball programs in 2003 after one turmoil-riddled season — Beck said he’d settle for finishing in the top half of the Scenic West.

“I think we just have to be really gritty, take pride in who we are,” he said. “Maybe embrace the underdog role a little bit and that we’re in it for the city.”

As soon as the coronavirus pandemic ends and it is safe to break a sweat on defense, Russ Beck plans to jump back on his Harley and find additional 6-4 forwards (as well as some guards) who believe there’s no place like home.

“When your roster is full of kids from the same area, you can take a lot of pride in that,” he said.

Bike Week 2020

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A Case of “Corona”, Tits, Ass, and Speed Not Necessarily In That Order OHh, yeah, and motorsickles … lotsa motorsickles
Photos and text by DMAC

79th Daytona Beach Bike Week got It’s humble beginning way back in 1937 and started as the Daytona 200 – a motorcycle race that was actually a 3.2 mile course including beach and roadway. Picture that – high banking on sand – in view of the Atlantic Ocean – musta been a sight – especially with all that iron – newer to them then. Now, all vintage iron to us.

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Sons of Speed Wild Vintage Races – Bike Week 2020

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20th Century Board Track Racing
By Rogue with Photos By MISLED

Sons of Speed vintage bike races created by Billy Lane of Choppers Inc, were inspired by motorcycle racing in the early 20th- century board-track racing. At the time they were the largest spectator sport in the country.

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BMW’s i4 Electric Concept Comes With a Hans Zimmer Score

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Composer Hans Zimmer (right) and his collaborator, BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale, are creating new sounds for the German automaker’s coming wave of electric cars.

 

by Brett Berk from https://www.wired.com

To fill the aural vacuum left by the disappearance of the engine, BMW brought in a ringer.

Thelma & Louise. Rain Man. The Lion King. True Romance. Interstellar. Dunkirk. Each film works to take its viewers on an emotional journey, and each leans on a shared tool: a Hans Zimmer score that serves as a guide, signaling joy, grief, conflict, passion, and more in turn. Now, though, the Oscar-winning composer has turned his talents away from the silver screen and toward the windscreen, where he’s found a new vehicle that could use a touch of emotional direction: the electric car.

Along with more than 500 horsepower and a range of 370 miles, BMW’s all-electric Concept i4 comes with music by Zimmer. These mini scores, which BMW calls “sound worlds,” will ripple out their smoothly vibrant vibrato—think Lionel Hampton on the theremin—when the doors open, as the car starts up, and as the car drives along the road.

On the i4, a concept four-door coupe BMW unveiled earlier this month, the composition morphs slightly based the car’s current driving modes, whether “core,” “sport,” or “efficient.” Zimmer and his collaborator, BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale, call the i4’s soundtrack “Limen,” the word for the threshold below which a stimuli can’t be perceived. It’s all about connecting sound to an emotional experience, which in this case happens to be driving on battery power instead of watching Rafiki hoist Simba into the air.

“We are at a moment in time, with electric cars, when we get to change the whole sonic landscape of everything in a vehicle,” Zimmer says. “We can allow the interiors of cars to set moods and give people an experience, to let people devise their own experience, not be forced into the rumbling of a petrol engine anymore.”

Zimmer’s BMW sound worlds are in concept form now, but the company intends to roll them out over the next few years on more than two dozen electric vehicles. That will start with the production version of the i4, later in 2021.

The key here is that by replacing a rumbling engine with a silent battery and whirring motors, BMW and every other automaker are ditching the sonic experience that has been part of the automobile for more than a century. Car lovers may miss the angry sewing machine clack of a Porsche 911’s flat-six, the throaty grumble and whine of a supercharged Dodge Hemi V8, or the cranial wail of a Ferrari V-12. So might unsuspecting new EV buyers. Without the rumpus of an internal combustion engine, wind roar and tire slap sound all the louder. Zimmer and Vitale strive not just to mask those perturbances but to add delight and uplift to the driving experience.

“Think about your morning, where you have to go and start your car and go to your job,” Zimmer says. “Wouldn’t it be nice if the starting sound was something beautiful, something that put a smile on your face, something that makes your day better?”

The score does sound energizing and engaging, especially in the symphonically crescendoing “sport” mode. It definitely doesn’t sound “rumbling.” But it has some additional, and perhaps questionable, 1970s sci-fi movie overtones.

“There’s this idea that all battery electric cars should sound like a spaceship,” says Jonathan Price, senior research and development manager for Harman, a sound engineering firm that supplies the automotive industry with stereo systems, speakers, noise-cancellation equipment, and electric vehicle soundtracks–both internal and external. “Unfortunately, we don’t know what a spaceship sounds like, right? None of us have ever heard a spaceship before.”

Price is working with consumers as well as client automakers to create a relevant vocabulary for the sounds they will soon be adding to the interiors and—as regulation requires—exteriors of electric vehicles. Following recent research, his team came up with 40 different terms ranging from, as Price says, “something really progressive and futuristic—the pulsing, the whirring, the droning—all the way up to something more aggressive.”

The goal here is not just to update our terminology for car sounds, but to assist with their identification and branding. And there, Price’s work aligns with Zimmer’s. The composer’s parents always drove BMWs, and he could pick out the unique tone of their Bimmer from the balcony. “When I heard that sound,” he says, “everything was fine. Safety. Mom and Dad were home.”

Likewise, contemporary carmakers want to create soundtracks that will help people identify, and identify with, their vehicles. And because this sound is no longer tied to a physical source, like an engine, the potential choices are boundless. Which presents automakers with a new kind of quandary.

“Everybody wants to have something iconic,” Price says, pointing to how Harley Davidson attempted to patent the sound of its motorcycles’ exhaust note. So he wants his team to create the tones that will distinguish a Ford EV from a Hyundai EV. “These need to not only be very unique sounds, they need to be pleasing,” Price says. “Almost like a piece of jewelry that you wear and you hope other people envy.”

Maybe you’re wondering if all of this runs counter to one of the core promises of electric cars, the luxury of silence at speed. But Zimmer argues that for many, silence is unnerving, especially at speed. It can feel uncanny, unmoored from the physical processes that provide acceleration. When Zimmer scored Interstellar, he played on that feeling to convey the awe of rocket travel. The blastoff was the loudest moment of the film, and he blew out a few speaker systems before getting it right. But then the score goes silent. “That’s when everything was at astronomical speeds,” Zimmer says.

In any case, people aren’t seeking total silence. As automakers got better at isolating their customers from engine noise with better insulation, double-paned windows, and active noise cancellation, some customers complained. So manufacturers started piping engine noise into the cabin. BMW went further, playing artificial tunes through the stereo system. Some of this desire for sound at speed, or sound correlated to speed, may be out of habit, a generational quest for the familiar, the way that the keyboards on smart phones still make typing noises, or the cameras on smart phones still make shutter clicks. Zimmer thinks that this may vanish over time. “I think it’s sort of important to leave nostalgia behind,” he says.

Then he reconsiders. “As I said that, I suddenly remembered that every sci-fi movie we have ever seen is incredibly nostalgic.” He points to Blade Runner and Interstellar. Perhaps our dreams of the future are always enmeshed with our fantasies of the past. And our dream cars will always sound like the vehicles from our outmoded idea of the future, like something out of The Jetsons, because that’s what reassures us.

Zimmer sees his automotive work as fostering the way a car catalyzes this kind of big-picture thinking. “A car is such a great place to think, it’s such a great place to dream and have your own thoughts,” he says. “The car is the perfect private place to have constantly great ideas.”